You know what I like to do on a chilly Saturday morning? Pour some tea with milk and two Equals (yes, I like my tea sweet & milky) and then get lost down the rabbit hole that is the internet …
with an extra package of sweetener given to blogs that publish weekly round ups of links on the weekends.
A Cup of Jo is a must visit for me on Saturdays. Her round up of links posts typically go up Friday, but I like to savor them over the weekend. A mix of lifestyle, fun (and funny) and fashion.
This is also the time of year that trends for 2018 stories start popping up, like these 2018 home trends predicted by Pinterest. Apparently Sage green is making a comeback … and I don’t know how I feel about that?
If you’re still in that ho ho holiday mode, have I got a link for you …
Jennifer Rizzo puts together an annual holiday housewalk blogger event each year and it’s chock full of amazing decorating inspiration!
And if you’re looking for a book to read, my friend and former colleague from my New York City working days wrote memoir a few years ago called Both Sides Now: A Story of Love, Loss and Bold Living.* I couldn’t put it down. …
Beautiful. Haunting. Hopeful.
Finally, since I didn’t share my own holiday home tour this year (which looked very much like 2017), I thought I’d share some extra cute knit stockings with pom poms that I found at Target early in the season.
Hope you have a lovely weekend. Oh, and stay warm! 🙂
Fall Front Porch – Mums, Pumpkins, Skulls & Skeletons.
Today’s post is brought to you by the merry trio of shoulda, coulda, woulda.
Let’s start with shoulda …
as in I shoulda swept the porch steps before taking these pictures. 🙂
There’s no amount of photo editing magic I can do to remove those random leaves and twigs and muddy spots.
For coulda …
I coulda spent a few minutes Googling “how to take care of mums.” Because clearly no Googling of mum care took place. 🙂
Like seriously, what is my major problem with keeping green things alive? I swear the mums were quivering when I walked into the nursery, hoping I wouldn’t take them home. They could smell it on me. Plant death …
And for woulda?
I got nothing.
But I spent yesterday pretty much like this …
as I refreshed my Twitter feed. And then like this …
as I read thread after thread by some of the best legal minds on Twitter.
And now I’m off to buy Halloween candy for all those trick-or-treaters who will be ascending those random-leaf-and-twigs-and-muddy-spotted steps this afternoon.
And, yes, I realize I’m late at getting the candy. But yesterday I was all, you know ^^^^^^^
P.S. The skeletons were my daughter’s idea for this year’s front porch.
Nature versus nurture.
That’s the ongoing discussion we have around here about Ernie the rescue beagle.
You see, we got him from the shelter when he was one year old. Skinny and sad and stressed. And it’s the stressed part we continue to wonder about. Was it a natural trait he was born with …
or was it a nurtured condition as part of the environment he lived in during his first year of life?
We hate to think that Ernie was treated unfairly. I suspect he spent a lot of time crated and alone. Which makes me sad. And even after the six years he’s lived here … getting lots of love and pets and walks and crate-free time on the furniture … I fear he fears we will leave him at the shelter one day.
It should also come as no surprised that this nature versus nurture rescue pup gets even more stressed during the holidays ….
Ernie doesn’t deal with change very well. Especially when it displaces him. And when an ornament falls off the tree he practically jumps out of his skin! Then there’s all the boxes and wrapping paper and bows and plastic bags from shopping trips (he’s especially scared of plastic bags) …
And you know what stresses Ernie even more than the holidays? When I put a sign on his chair and point the camera his way. 🙂
So when the folks at Adaptil® asked if I’d like to try out their pet stress relief products, I jumped at the chance.
These products, which come in various forms including a collar, wipes, a spray, and a diffuser, are not a drug. They replicate pheromones, which are naturally produced by mother dogs after giving birth. It’s a familiar scent that helps dogs and puppies feel calm and secure. In fact, most pet clinics use Adaptil® products in their exam rooms (who knew?).
I started with the adjustable collar that’s activated by a dog’s body heat. This collar can stay on 24/7 and will work for one month. They also sent a stuffed blanket dog that I used the wipes on ….
Ernie was unsure at first …
But seems to have warmed up to the little guy (though he did gnaw on that puppy blanket later in the day).
I’m most interested in how the diffuser will work on Christmas day. Ernie spends a large portion of the day alone when we head out to the suburbs for Christmas dinner and I know it really causes him a great deal of stress. I suspect he stares out the window much of the day, willing our car to drive down the street. Jumping at ever horn honking and door slamming …
poor Ernie …
so I’m hopeful Adaptil® can help with his nurtured Christmas day stresses. Though I’m doubtful it will help with his unreasonable fear of plastic bags …
🙂 Happy Holidays!
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. When I signed Ernie up for the IAMS™ Visible Differences challenge I was skeptical.
I can’t help it. I’m just built that way.
But I signed us up anyway. Because the health and wellness of our furriest family member is a top priority.
The first round of skepticism crept in when I picked up my first bag of IAMS™ quality dog food. I worried Ernie wouldn’t play along from the get go. We had a bit of a Mexican stand-off when we first brought him home from the shelter. Ernie’s a fussy puppy and he adamantly refused to eat the chow we put out for him. Two days into his hunger strike, we broke down and bought a different brand. So you can imagine my surprise when he took to the IAMS™ food right away.
Take that, skeptical Linda.
But my true skepticism was related the three visible differences IAMS™ promised.
Let’s start with the first: his appearance.
Now, Ernie’s a handsome dude. And I’m not just saying that. People have actually stopped me in the street to compliment his good looks. But I have to admit, his coat does look shinier. Sleeker. And his fur is much softer and more pet-able. That is, when he deems it okay to give him a pet. He’s a bit of a prima dona when it comes to pets.
Ernie shaking off a pet.
Take that, skeptical Linda.
The next IAMS visible difference is … well … his output. You know, the stuff I have to bend down and pick up with a plastic bag. Because Ernie’s a city dog and it’s the law …
No, I won’t show you what it looks like. But I will show you where we dispose of it: the trash cans in the alley.
… and the right and neighborly thing to do. 🙂
The difference here is not only visible, it’s smell-able too. I know, eew. All I’ll say is this less-than-pleasant task has been a little less unpleasant since the IAMS™ switch. And easier to pick up too. Enough said.
Take that again, skeptical Linda.
The final visible difference is energy level. And this has been the biggest change of all. In the first month, he reverted to his stealing sock puppy ways. In the second month, he got a daily burst of crazy pup energy that found him running circles around the dining room table.
And in the third month? Well, in the third month he started doing something he hasn’t done sine before his double knee surgeries last year: jumping up on our bed.
Needless to say, baby gates are in use again. Mostly because I worry his jumping on and off the bed will lead to future knee problems and (gulp) more expensive surgeries.
Take that again and again, skeptical Linda.
Now I would love to show you an action shot of Ernie jumping and running. But (again) we worry about stress on his knees. So you’ll just have to settle for his favorite activity of the day: Taking a walk with dad …
Thanks IAMS™ for putting the puppy back in our pup … and for showing this skeptic up. 🙂
I know what you’re thinking.
You wake up on a crisp autumn day. But it’s not just any autumn day. It’s a rare Saturday Halloween day.
A day destined (weather permitting) to draw a big trick-or-treating crowd.
But it’s hours away before the princesses and goblins and ghosts come a knocking. So you decide to bide your time by going online. Check email. And Facebook. And Twitter. And Pinterest. And Instagram.
And then you see it.
In your inbox. An email from It All Started With Paint.
You click through. Happy to see me on a crisp Saturday morning.
And then you see it.
I know, I know.
But I couldn’t help myself. Especially when At Home came a knocking on my door. Asking if I’d like to check out their home decor superstore.
And if I’d like to share some of their amazing Christmas decor with you, my amazing readers.
Um … gulp.
Meanwhile, my family didn’t even do a double take when they walked past a Christmas tree in the dining room. In October! 🙂
So let’s talk At Home. They’re billed as the home decor superstore. A one-stop-shop for all your indoor and outdoor decor needs. And they don’t disappoint.
Seriously. This place is huge. Football field-times-ten huge with aisle after aisle of amazing home decor for inside and out. They have everything. Everything! And if you can’t find it there, you won’t find it anywhere.
I’m thinking At Home is where every other store goes shopping to stock their stores. It’s that big. And that comprehensive.
Their At Home Christmas Decor alone occupied a small city. The tree lot covers an acre of fun with over 100 Christmas Trees to choose from. Each tree is curated because of a unique feature and every tree in the store (with the exception of 1) is exclusive to At Home! Which was perfect. Because I really wanted a tree for the dining room. But the space is limited, so I thought it wasn’t an option. Until I found the Tree for Me — a 7 footer with a 34″ circumference.
Perfect for my small space in the corner!
And their everyday low prices are amazing too. I was tempted to pick up a Tree for Me for every room of the house!
or maybe a sleigh landing on the roof?
Red & White Christmas Tree Decor
If you’re up for browsing even more Christmas decor in October, you might also like:
Want to keep up with my projects? It’s easy. Get it all started with paint delivered to your email inbox:
Sharing: | Link Party Palooza |
A video was circulating online testing the validity of the man’s best friend claim. Pet owners, while walking their dogs, would pretend to faint. And then record their best friend’s reactions.
And you know what? Your dog is not as loyal as you think.
Dogs did not rush to their owners sides. No whimpers were heard. No faces licked. No lifeless bodies nudged. In fact, most stopped when their owners dropped. Perplexed. A few kept on walking as if nothing happened. And more than one took it as an opportunity escape.
I fear Ernie might fall into the latter group. 😉
And I fear Ernie would be a little harder to catch now that he’s on the Iams Visible Differences plan. 🙂
Seriously, though. We’ve been feeding Ernie Iams quality dog food for just about a month now. And we truly do see visible differences.
Starting with his fur.
Not only is his coat nice and shiny, but it seems like he’s just extra soft when we pet him. At least that’s what my daughter insists. And I have to agree.
“Go ahead. Pet me. I know you want to.”
And can we talk energy?
He’s a bundle of energy now. He thinks he’s a puppy again and has been resorting to some of his old puppy ways. Things he hasn’t done in over a year. And things we had completely forgotten about. Like sneaking upstairs and stealing socks. Then racing around the dining room table with the socks in his mouth. Taunting us to chase after him.
Holds head in shame.
And then there’s the “back end” business.
I’ll spare the gory details, but will just say that picking up his business is a lot easier. And a lot less “messy” since we’ve switched his diet to Iams. Enough said.
“Really, mom? Did you have to go there?”
We’ll be doing another Ernie check-in at the two month mark. At this pace, I’m pretty sure we’ll be announcing his entry in the Westminster Dog Show …
P.S. In an ironic twist at the end of the video testing the loyalty of man’s best friend, a bird owner pretended to faint. And the bird was very concerned. It rushed to its owner’s side. It nudged its owner. It squawked in concern. It basically showed all the traits we expect to elicit from our dogs. Turns out birds are really man’s best friend. 😉
It’s time to come clean. To fess up. To admit to an embarrassing truth.
I have 41,272 emails saved in my inbox.
Scary, right? And the idea of cleaning it up is daunting.
Honestly, I’ve been worried that Yahoo is going to cut me off. Suspend my account. Wipe it clean as if it never existed.
And then …
A maintenance mode screen popped up when I was checking mail. Something about settings. And letting me know how much space my 41,000+ emails was occupying. With a warning about how many emails I have left to receive.
Yes, you read that right. I have room in my inbox for 54 million more emails. 54 MILLION!
And now cleaning up my inbox has become a very low priority item on my priority list. 😉
Which leaves with even more free time to surf the Internets for inspiration. Like this gorgeous bedroom …
I think my daughter and I have finally found the inspiration for her bedroom makeover (take 2). We both fell in love with the colors and the bed and just about everything in the guest room at The Picket Fence Projects (click here).
The next time a tree falls on one of our cars (yes, that really did happen), I’ll ask the city’s clean up crew for a few slices. 🙂
And feel free to send me an email. I have room left for 54 million and counting …
Today it’s all about inspiration.
Photo Sources (left to right, top to bottom):
How To Nest for Less on Instagram | The Gathered Home on Instagram | 4 Men 1 Lady Blog on Instagram | Primitive & Proper on Istagram | Primitive & Proper on Instagram | Designer Trapped in A Lawyer’s Body on Instagram | How To Nest for Less on Instagram | Designer Trapped in A Lawyer’s Body on Instagram | The Gathered Home on Instagram |
99% of the time blogging is a solitary activity. Well, for this blogger it is. Which can be lonely.
But it’s all worth it for the 1%. Because the glorious, amazing, inspirational, pinch-myself-is-this-really-happening-to-me 1% wipes away that solitude. And loneliness.
This past week was all about the 1% …
and it was amazing!
And can I just say how amazingly gorgeous — and inspirational — Amy Howard’s home was? It’s her pied-à-terre as her new home in the country is being built. And it’s gorgeous. Do you see that collage up there? Yep. All rooms in her house …
and all rooms pulled together with amazing furniture pieces she has personally rescued and beautifully restored.
(P.S. All those photos were taken by my fellow Ace bloggers and posted on their Instagram accounts. I recommend you follow them all!).
And then there was the amazing inspirational Amy Howard workshop we attended. Taught by Amy herself. Where I learned painting techniques that I thought were well beyond my reach …
It was whirlwind.
It was inspirational.
And it was fun to get to know my fellow Ace bloggers better. We shared tips. We shared stories. And I left Memphis feeling truly inspired …
and a little less alone in this blogging world.
Now for some inspirational links for you this weekend, I encourage you to check out my Ace blogger buddies …
Cassie at Primitive & Proper
Brynne at The Gathered Home
Erin at How To Nest for Less
Kim at Yellow Brick Home
Tasha at Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body
Michelle at 4 Men 1 Lady
Alison at Henhouse (who couldn’t make it to Memphos, but has a gorgeous blog with gorgeous photography).
Wishing you have an inspirational weekend!
P.S. You, too, can attend an Amy Howard workshop. Ace launched a national sweepstakes where people can enter to win a trip for two to Memphis to attend an Amy Howard workshop, plus a $500 Ace gift card to buy Amy Howard products when they get back home. Click here for contest details and to enter.
Sharing @ Inspiration Monday
Happy Saturday! Any fun plans for the weekend? I’m planning to chillax. Maybe take in a movie. I’m also toying with tackling the mess in the basement. My industrial style work space isn’t looking quite as pristine and organized as it did when I shared it last year …
There was a tragic incident with a can of chalkboard paint. Let’s just say, it looks a bit like a crime scene. Who knew when a paint can falls from a sawhorse desk it would create splatters on three of the four walls in the room?
But enough of my paint dilemma. On to bigger and brighter and more amazing things. Like Krista at The Happy Housie‘s amazing coastal kitchen reveal.
Remember how I spent my entire summer working on my diy kitchen remodel? And how I was so proud of myself and patting myself on the back for a job well done?
now I want to rip it all out and start over. Because Krista’s kitchen is what my kitchen wants to be when it grows up.
You have to click here right now and soak up all it’s wonderfulness!
And in other amazing DIY news, check out the magnetic wall map Chaney at Bigger Than The Three of Us created in her son’s room.
Cassie at Primitive & Proper amazed me with her modern bohemian master bedroom makeover …
And finally, Carrie at Lovely, Etc.’s faux metal letter diy is nothing short of amazing …
Wishing you an amazing weekend!
And just in case you missed any of my posts this week:
I shared my driftwood-look clothespin wreath here …
My kitchen hardware bling here …
An easy envelope pillow tutorial here …
And I capped the week with a craft fail here …
Raise your hand if your Facebook newsfeed has become your primary source of news.
And I’m not just talking about first day of school news. Or friends with birthday news. But bonafide real news of the day.
Raises hand while holding head in shame.
But from time-to-time, that Facebook newsfeed becomes an invaluable resource. A font of useful — and useless — information I can store away for the next iteration of Trivial Pursuit. Or when I’m a contestant on Jeopardy.
Take, for instance, a few weeks ago. Dog photo after dog photo started popping up in my stream. Usurping first day of school pictures 5-to-1. And that’s when I first heard of National Dog Day. So I played along and shared this picture of Ernie the rescue beagle with an-in-my-own-opinion pithy caption: “Ernie is excited to learn today is National Dog Day.”
See the irony? Hence the pith.
Now, in all honesty, the picture is from a few years ago. A time when a much younger Ernie spent much of his day lounging on the couch. A luxury that came to a crashing halt this past winter. After he blew out not one, but both of his knees. Just as one had started to heal, he damaged the other.
To say the whole surgery process was traumatic would be an understatement. And I’m not just talking traumatic for Ernie. It was tough on us too. He was so scared and confused. For weeks afterward. It broke our hearts.
I mean, come on! Just look at that perpetually sad face.
The saddest part of the whole knee debacle are the longer term repercussions. The weight gain from inactivity. The very real inevitability of arthritis in both knees. And, of course, he’s now relegated to the floor (though, in all honestly, I’m fine with this particular repercussion).
So when Iams Visible Differences approached me with the idea of visibly improving his health with a switch in dog food, I was intrigued. Especially when I discovered their foods include fatty acids from fish oils — which not only contributes to a healthy skin and coat, but can help with his joint health (and future, inevitable arthritis).
What’s that you’re saying about my coat and joints?
There’s also a good source of fiber that will help with his digestion, and a balance of proteins and carbs to promote healthy energy. Which means more of his favorite activity …
Where, when he’s not sniffing every surface, he likes to do a lot of this …
marking his territory.
I’m excited to embark on this transition to Iams quality dog food. Especially since Iams® bases all of their product on the idea that superior quality ingredients create a superior quality pet food. Iams® dog food products focus on quality and are backed by years of research. Dogs who switch to Iams show signs of improved health in their coats and skin, healthy digestion and overall energy levels …
and I’m excited to see (and share with you all) his visible differences over the next few months.
Though, to be honest, he’s already a real head-turner!
Are you talking about me? And please, please stop taking my picture!
I’ve been avoiding the ‘feels’ for days. Weeks. Months.
I’ve immersed myself in a major DIY. Tearing apart the kitchen. Adding height to the cabinets. Priming and painting walls and cabinet doors and drawers.
I’ve been shopping till I drop for mini fridges and surge protectors and school supplies and cleaning supplies.
I haven’t given myself any time to feel.
The day has arrived. The car is packed. We’re ready to head out caravan style on a four hour drive across the Midwest.
And the ‘feels’ have arrived. And it feels like I’ve been hit by a mac truck.
So you want to know what I feel?
I feel nervous.
I know, I’m surprised too.
And it’s not your everyday kind of nervous jitters. It’s full-on-I think-I’m-going-to-throw-up nervous.
And behind that giant nervous pit in my stomach are tears. Threating to pour forth. But I’m choking those back. Saving them for the long drive home.
The most alarming part is these feels have arrived before we even head out the door. Leaving me to wonder if I’m going to feel these feels all weekend long? Will they get stronger? And if so, how will that feel?
I think I better pack some Tums.
P.S. In case you’re wondering this faux moss topiary has absolutely nothing to do with taking a child to college. Or my nerves. Or my nervous stomach. I just needed a photo to share and I thought I’d include this one. A favorite project (click here for tutorial) …